Tag Archives: travel

Oxo cube: good or evil?

I’ve never been a great traveller. On our honeymoon, we went to Jersey for 2 weeks. We couldn’t have gone abroad for our honeymoon like a lot of people do, as we had no money, and the Home Office had also kept my passport just to make sure that I wasn’t staging a fake marriage to a gullible white man.

After a week in Jersey, I was terribly ill. My body went into a complete meltdown due to a lack of rice in my diet. We had had a week of potatoes and pasta but no rice. My husband only realised then the high price of marrying a typical oriental, rice-eating wife. But it was too late for him.

Over the past 12 years, my body has slowly adjusted to a mixed diet with pasta, spaghetti, potatoes and rice. I’m almost weaned off rice now. When I took the plunge and visited my online friend Tilly (The Laughing Housewife) in Stockport, I was ready for anything thrown at me. Continue reading

Laughter and love

Meeting a WordPress friend in real life was actually a weird experience.

Tilly Bud (famously known as The Laughing Housewife) and I have been in contact via WordPress for about a year. We seemed to have known each other well before she opened her house for me and my son, for 5 days.

It was very brave of her. I’m a small Chinese person with a funny accent visiting a suburb in the north, dragging along a 12-year-old boy with me, because, to be safe, you should always bring a friend when you meet an online friend. In my case, I brought my son. Continue reading

The north south divide

I’m sending this short post by email. I hope it works and you manage to read it.

I’m staying with Tilly Bud (The Laughing Housewife) for a few days. We met through WordPress blogging. We speak different English. She seems to like me a bit.

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People in the UK are aware of the north-south divide in this country. I certainly believe so.

Normally, in a standard house for a small family, you’ll have one landline and one phone. This family has 3 phones, one in each room. “Son, your cup of tea is ready!” They speak on the phone. Sometimes they even managed to dial the wrong numbers and speak to the wrong person.

Welcome to Upstairs, Downstairs.

The house is rather quiet, almost Zen-like. Why do I say that? There are 2 fish tanks in the lounge, and more fish tanks in the kitchen. The sound effect is constant from the fish tanks, and I’m not sure if the background sound would turn them all into Zen or slowly turn them mad.

Now I understand how Tilly Bud can be both silly and enlightening, and so moody and unpredictable in her blog. The secret must be with the fish tanks. That’s why she has more than 1000 followers.

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English in the north: dropping consonants

Today I had a new discovery: my newly met friends not only dropped the ‘t’ sound for the word ‘but’, but also the ‘h’ sound at the beginning of a word. For example, they say, “do you ‘ave” when they mean “do you have”. Their sloppy English is getting me worried about the future of the Queen’s English.

At this rate of their missing consonants, by the end of the week, I gather this family will only have 20 alphabets left in their English, while poor English learners around the world are coping with 26 alphabets just fine.

The fun of living in the house of a blogger-turn-friend is the surreality: you think you’ve known the person quite well through her writing – witty, amusing, intelligent, grumpy, snoring and self-deprecating, but in reality, she’s merely a  frumpy dog walker who is battling daily northern rain to walk her two cute dogs. Judging by the amount of dog poo littered on the pavements, Tilly Bud possibly is the only conscientious dog walker in Stockport with dog bags in all her pockets.

Have I just said their dogs are cute? Indeed. They are tiny and adorable. They are so well behaved and talented that they can do Gangnam Style. These cute, well trained dogs have transformed my mind. I’m now convinced that dogs are the best friends of human being. I now also think that eating dog meat is such a bad idea after all. By the way, Chinese people describe dog meat as fragrance meat 香肉, as dog meat is known for its fragrance.

(Note: I had a problem with my previous post sending from Stockport. The format was distorted. I’ve deleted that post and updated it here. )

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Granny Liu

In the Dream of the Red Chamber, the classical Chinese novel, entered a clumsy Granny Liu.

The country bumpkin, Granny Liú, or Liu laolao, visited the Grand View Gardens, and was totally overwhelmed by new experiences and opulence.

Today I feel like Granny Liu in the north of the country, clumsy and excited. This is the first time I have visited the unknown north as a tourist. I still wear a thick fur jacket to try to fight the northern rain and wind. Continue reading

Food, glorious food!

We’re due to visit a friend in another part of the country.

Weeks before our departure, my friend showed signs of a panic attack. She sent me emails, asking: “What would you like to eat? What do you not eat?” “Are you a vegetarian?”

After reading my posts about dogs, she finally had a meltdown. She revealed, “I do have 2 dogs you know.”

Welcome to the British hospitality. Continue reading

Postcard from Singapore: East vs West

Visiting my elderly parents in Singapore from England, I sense my 80 year-old mum’s distinctive taste, sealed in her belongings.

Chinese tin drinking cups

1) I drink from an English floral fine china mug. My mum drinks from a Chinese tin cup, which also comes with a lid. Why? I asked. “You won’t understand. These tin cups are excellent. They won’t break. And, it’s important to separate old people’s cups from young people’s.”

Real calendar — you tear off a page each day

Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Movement in Winchester

Weekly Photo Challenge: Movement

Two weeks ago, in Winchester, I captured the movement of Winchester high street, from the top of the hill.

I was at the top of The Westgate Museum in Winchester with my son Ben. The Westgate is one of the two surviving defensible gateways of the original five that stood along Winchester’s city walls.

I could see the stunning view of the city. Winchester was still donning the Union Jack flags and bunting, and everyone was seen wearing a jacket  on a British summer day.  The high street market was bursting with colour, joy and personality.

Winchester: view from the top of the Westgate Museum

Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Friendship via WordPress


Weekly Photo Challenge: Friendship

My friend 十年人生  (10 Year) is very special, because we met through WordPress blogging.

Our WordPress friendship has developed into true friendship.

We started by admiring each other’s writings. Then we linked each other. Later we met in London.

We were invited for a lovely meal with her family. They prepared the most delicious Chinese Hot Pot, where you put an obscene amount of meats and Chinese cabbage in a boiling hot pot and eat until you’re stuffed. Continue reading